Fujifilm X-T20 review

Fujifilm's mid-price mirrorless camera packs quite a punch

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  • 8fps burst shooting
  • 350-shot battery life
  • Sound metering system

The X-T20 uses Fujifilm’s proven TTL 256-zone metering system, which performs admirably, even when directed at high-contrast scenes. Here it can tend to underexpose the shot, but we’d happily take this to avoid blown highlights, and recover detail in the shadows later. 

If you’re going to be shooting a lot of portraits the metering is geared to provide a bias towards overexposing the shot for a more flattering high-key result. It’s easy to fine-tune the exposure though – as we’ve mentioned, set the exposure compensation to ‘C’ and it’s quick to adjust. And the joy of mirrorless is that the EVF will display the exposure in real time, so you won’t get any nasty surprises when reviewing your images.

The 3-inch display is also very good – the slight boost in resolution is welcome

While we’re on the subject, the viewfinder is lovely and bright, but because the magnification isn't quite as impressive as on the X-T2 (they share the same 2.36m dot resolution remember) it feels that little bit more cramped to look through. 

The 3-inch display is also very good – the slight boost in resolution is welcome, with a crisp, clear feed perfect for composing or reviewing shots. It’s certainly nice to see the addition of a touchscreen interface – it works well for tapping to focus and when reviewing images, although as we’ve touched on it would have been nice to have the functionality extended to areas of the menu system.

Battery life is 350 shots on a single charge – in the ballpark for a mirrorless camera and a slight improvement over the X-T10, but when compared to the likes of the Nikon D5600, which has an impressive 820-shot battery life, it’s found a little wanting. It can be charged direct via USB however, while there’s also a dedicated charger bundled in the box. Either way, we’d recommend getting yourself a spare battery. 

There’s no support for UHS-II cards, but despite this the X-T20 can still rattle off eight frames in a second, with the buffer good for 23 uncompressed raw files or 62 JPEGs; opt to use the X-T20’s electronic shutter instead of the mechanical one and you’ll be able to shoot at 14fps, with the buffer able to handle 22 uncompressed raws or 42 JPEGs. It’s not going to top any lists of sports cameras, but it’ll let you capture a sequence of action if you need it to.

Image quality

  • ISO200-12,800, expandable to 100-51,200
  • Film simulation modes
  • +/-5 EV exposure compensation in 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments

While the X-T10’s 16MP sensor delivered good results, the X-T20’s 24.3MP chip is a welcome step up. It uses the same X-Trans CMOS III sensor as the X-Pro2 and X-T2, and files from the X-T20 display excellent levels of detail, even at higher sensitivities, comparing very favourably to images from APS-C rivals with a similar resolution.

Dynamic range is also very impressive on the X-T20 – and there's plenty of flexibility to recover detail once you're in Photoshop. With JPEG files we found it was possible to recover a decent amount of shadow detail in images, while raws offer even more latitude. With low-ISO raw images you've probably got up to around four stops to play with, although this is reduced once the sensitivity increases beyond ISO1600.

Don't forget too that there's Fuji's own Dynamic Range mode, which works with both JPEG and raw files. There is a caveat here though – if you want to use the strongest DR400 setting, the base sensitivity increases to ISO800, while the moderate DR200 setting is a little better at ISO400. Results are very good though – if you're prepared to shoot at ISO800, the DR400 setting can preserve plenty of highlight and shadow detail in a high-contrast scene.

The X-T20's sensitivity range, on paper at least, compares favorably to rivals; the ceiling limit of ISO51,200 is a stop better than the Lumix G80/G85 and EOS M5, while the ability to record raw files at this sensitivity is an improvement on the X-T10's JPEG-only option.

Files at the lower end of the sensitivity range deliver really clean results – you'll be hard-pushed to find any signs of luminance noise (grain-like in appearance) in flat-color areas such as blue skies. 

As we've seen with the X-T2 and X-Pro2, it's only at ISO3200 that luminance noise starts to become an issue. That said, at this sensitivity results are more than acceptable; the noise has a natural look to it, while even up to ISO12,800, results won't be unusable, provided you apply a bit of noise reduction in post-processing.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.